Moss against snails - this is how moss extract helps in defense

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Moss against snails - this is how moss extract helps in defense: extract

Snails can drive gardeners mad. But those who are attracted to nature prefer to resort to biological methods for controlling snails instead of to chemistry. An effective method shows the snail defense with moss or moss extract. But not all species of moss are suitable. Find out everything you need to know about mosses here, how you can make the extract yourself and how to combat snails in the long term.

Moss effect

Mosses are only used in rare cases as food for animals and at the same time not as a breeding ground for fungi. This is due to the fact that they produce an active substance in their cell walls. These include, among others, the substance Oxylipine, which usually forms in a moss injury.
If the snails now eat a plant that is covered with a moss plant, they injure it and the substances that repel the animals are produced and released. As a result, they spoil their appetite and do not nibble on. So far the theory, because this principle works only conditionally, because many a snail scares this less, because the substances are not secreted in high quantities and therefore some copies of it can not be further confused. On the other hand, agents with moss extracts are significantly more effective.

Moss Extract effect

While mosses prevent slugs only to a limited extent because they produce few antibodies in case of injuries per centimeter, moss extracts have the advantage of directly applying the antibodies to a plant. This results in a much higher effectiveness than with pure mosses.
The University of Bonn has investigated the effectivity of mosses and moss extracts in various studies. Salad leaves were drizzled with the extract and presented to different types of snail for feeding. In all the test series, only the untreated lettuce leaves were eaten and kept as far as possible around the leaves prepared with moss extracts.

Large area fitness

Now it would be easy to "fence" the garden with extract and in this way to achieve an effective snail defense for the entire garden. But that's not the case, because even scientific research has not yet developed a recipe for synthesizing which would allow the extract to be produced in larger quantities, because so far vast amounts of mosses are needed to produce the smallest amounts of the extract. This would make the product commercially unviable on the market and unsuitable for large areas. Nevertheless, the hobby gardener has the possibility of self-production, but not every species of moss has an effective effect in order to fight snails successfully.

Food grade


There are various possibilities for the production. But they all have three things / processes in common: always use fresh moss and chop it up. The latter has the sense that "hurting" creates the natural defenses that ultimately allow you to fight the snails. Unfortunately, the more you break down the mosses, the less you make them. Here it makes the amount of moss, which decides the amount of substance. In addition, the respective concentration, if you mix the recovered ingredients to an extract. After chopping, let the fresh and shredded moss plant dry well in the fresh air.
  • Cold water production
  • Use cold water
  • Pour water into a bucket and add dry moss
  • Water-dry moss ratio: 1:10
  • Mix well
  • Leave for at least a day
  • Squeege out bucket contents
  • Fill the broth into a spray bottle
  • Every second or third day, spray susceptible plants preventively with the extract / brew formed
  • Extract for a maximum of ten days
TIP: You should never spray the extract in direct sunlight, as it may cause burns on the leaves. It is better to carry out the application early in the morning, in the evening or in a shady place.
  • alcohol
  • Mix 50 grams of dry moss with 100 milliliters of 30 percent alcohol
  • Let it rest for an hour or two
  • Then fill the mixture with water to 20 liters
  • Filter out or squeeze out the mixture
  • Fill the broth into a spray bottle
  • Spray directly on the plant and spray everything
  • Initially apply about twice a week
  • Thereafter, an application once a month is sufficient
  • Extract is stable for a few weeks

Hot water production

  • One-quarter cylindrical vessel filled with dry moss and three quarters with water
  • Water should be at least room temperature, better between 23 degrees Celsius and 27 degrees Celsius
  • Do not stir the mixture
  • Let one day draw
  • Then stir briefly and let rest for about 30 minutes
  • Absorb moss residues or filter out
  • Fill extract / broth into a spray container
  • Spray plants dripping wet
  • Apply every other day in the first week
  • Apply once a week from the second week
  • If there is a lot of rain, spray twice a week

Advantages and disadvantages

The moss extract has in addition to the control of numerous types of snails and the positive effect of strengthening plants and to act against various diseases and pests. For this purpose it is suitable as a preventive measure as well as a direct treatment in acute cases.
These include, for example:
  • False and powdery mildew on roses
  • Gray mold rot
  • Tuber and herb rot on root vegetables
  • Fruit and leaf rot
  • spider mites
  • aphids
As a negative point, however, it should be mentioned that the moss extract does not succeed in all snails. Some specimens remain unimpressed and can not be deterred by their food intake. However, it is a remedy that still reliably helps mainly with the particularly voracious slugs and leaves no polluting residues in the soil. With the recipes for self-production mentioned here, the chances are very good to successfully keep the pests away from your plants.

Video Board: How to Effectively Use Crushed Eggshells Against Garden Snails and Slugs - TRG 2014.

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